If you've read anything I've ever written, you know I've made no secret that, pre-2000ish, I was beyond clueless when it came to the mysteries and secrets of the female species. I mean, naiveté isn't even in it; when it came to girls, I took being dense to a Rembrandt-level art form. I was the Beatles of obliviousness. But I wasn't always that way... Read on after the jump!
Despite being a teenager who was utterly devoid of anything resembling game, I distinctly remember, way back in my very formative years, not being shy or self-conscious at all. "Approach anxiety" wasn't even a concept to me, and I used to just talk to anyone. And that includes girls. And, because of this, I had my very first girlfriend at the tender age of six years old. You see, there was this girl that baby Joey had his eye on from pretty much the moment he met her (as much as a little kid is capable of "having his eye" on a girl at that age, anyway). To six year old me, she was mysterious, a little scary, and I remember being just so completely infatuated with her. So much so that one day during lunch, I (very smoothly) told her that if she'd duck under the lunch table with me, I would kiss her. She asked why we had to go under the lunch table, so I called her bluff and planted one on her right there in front of everybody, and she became my girlfriend. Sadly, it would be many, MANY years before I ever did anything even remotely that suave again.
As early as October 1985 to as late as February 1988! My second longest relationship as of this writing!
I don't know quite what happened to me after this. That girl broke up with me some time after February of '88. My mom tells a story of how I got in the car after school that day and burst into tears and told her I had a broken heart. Now that's marginally cute coming from a nine year old boy, and she also says I was fine like an hour later, but now I wonder if the whole thing hadn't scarred me in some way. I mean, was I so badly burned by a silly fourth grade breakup that my confidence and self-esteem shattered for the next ten years or so? I don't know. It's probably just as likely that I turned into a pussy for a variety of other reasons too. Either way, in the Fall of '88 I changed schools from 207 to St. Helens, and coming off the momentum of being that charmer who would kiss a girl at will, combined with the intrigue of being the new kid, you would think I should have done alright for myself when it came to the girls there. Well you would be wrong.
Way wrong in fact, as I soon ushered in an age of crushing on girls who were way unattainable, and landing myself squarely and securely in the friend zone. Now when I say "unattainable" you might think I mean "out of my league" and that's probably true, but only circumstantially. See, if these girls were out of my league, it was only because I put them there by the way I behaved, but that's another story for another day. Today we're here to discuss something I found while we were cleaning out my mother's attic. Something fun for you, and embarrassing for me... a love letter I wrote in May of 1990 to the very first girl I crushed on at my new school!
Right now, you might be wondering how I still have this. I mean, you might be wondering that if you haven't been rendered insensate and immobile from the crippling giant douche chill you undoubtedly got from reading this thing. Well, my mom is pretty awesome (aside from being a crazy OCD pseudo-hoarder who saved pretty much everything I ever did), and she somehow intercepted this note before I could deliver it. She tried to prevent her baby boy from humiliating himself by giving this work of utter drivel to the object of his affection. Unfortunately, mom tried in vain because I just went ahead and wrote another one and gave it to her, thus ensuring I would be treated with something between patronizing good humor and thinly veiled contempt for the remainder of her time at St. Helens (she changed schools in 7th grade). Anyway, did you read this thing? Apparently my sensibilities when it came to girls were somewhere between a REALLY sappy six year old Victorian-era girl, and a puddle of used human douche water.
Lets analyze this for a second, "Moonlit pools of beauty glistening..."? Fucking seriously? "A living goddess of utter beauty"? Really, what century did I think I was in? This garbage isn't even romantic by sappy pop love song standards. Pick the fruitiest boy band love ballad; it's a thousand times more masculine than this letter. I can't even comprehend what rubbish pit I mined this dreck from. Good thing I made sure to include my last name in the signature too, in case she didn't know which Joe she was supposed to have complete and utter disdain for. Oh, and lets not overlook the groveling post script reminding her that even if she didn't love me back, I'd still "be there" for her whenever she needed me! Ugh... what an unctuous, sycophantic little bag of jizz I was! Reading this right now, I want to punch myself square in the face for the fact that this junk originated from my brain.
And, adding to the idiocy of this whole thing is the fact that, looking back now, I didn't "love" her at all (obviously). I had a crush and wanted to make out with her... and THIS was the best way I could come up with to try and accomplish that. Which not only makes this letter sickening and pathetic, but also an act of sheer ham-fisted stupidity. It's sad and embarrassing that in just a few short years I went from a kid who was confident enough to boldly take a girl's dare to kiss her in the middle of a crowded lunch room, to a kid who was too afraid to even approach a girl and had to let her know I liked her by letter. Apparently I was taking my cues from Young MC in Principal's Office. As I mentioned above, the results were not good (for Marvin or myself!). And yet, despite the complete misery of the outcome, I would repeat this process with girl after girl, all throughout high school for some reason. Ugh.
Anyway, I like to think I have long since made up for it and redeemed myself, yet I still can't help but wonder what my teenage years would have been like if I still possessed the confidence and natural game I had when I was six.